Gary Geist

Gary Gilbert Geist, 83, formally of Clear Lake, passed away peacefully at home in Ponca, Neb. on July 2, 2024 surrounded by his family.   

A Celebration of Life will be held on July 28, 2024 with family present on the Lady of the Lake vessel in Clear Lake, with dockside visitation from noon-2 p.m. and cruise from 2-2:30 p.m. Nelson-Berger Northside Chapel in Sioux City has assisted the family with arrangements.

Gary was born on Jan. 9, 1941 in Norfolk, Neb. to Gilbert Christian and Cecile (Robinson) Geist. He attended school at Norfolk High School. He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Karen (Pinky) Weigt on May 23, 1960 in Lincoln, Neb.  They had two children, Kimberly, and Jennifer. Karen passed away on January 27, 2003. Gary was a traveler and lived in many different states including Nebraska, Wyoming, Florida, Arizona, California and Texas before settling in Clear Lake. Along with his travels he had many different experiences and worked in many different capacities. He was a jack of all trades and had an entrepreneurial mind.  He was a Master Carpenter, Salesmen, Journeymen, Pilebutt Bridge Builder, Rancher, Mayor of Santee, business owner of Campers Kitchen and his most prideful accomplishment, Captain and builder of The Lady of the Lake. He moved the car ferry boat from Niobrara, Neb., to Clear Lake in 1987 designing and engineering every aspect of the 70-ton vessel into a thriving excursion business that continues to be an icon today. Gary and Pinky loved Clear Lake and greatly enjoyed supporting all the local businesses and were very involved in bringing tourism to the area. In the off season, he enjoyed traveling, panning for gold, camping and reading about WWII history. He was proud of his Father being a Merrill’s Marauder. He was known for his adventurous, witty personality, sharing all his stories and experiences with others and acquired many nicknames over the years, The Dude, Chicken Man and Captain. He was also known for his kindness to others. After retirement he lived on the Missouri River and wintered in Texas and moved back to Nebraska four years ago to be closer to family.  

He was blessed with three beautiful granddaughters and 12 great-grandchildren who referred to him as the 5G grandpa.  

He is survived by his children, Kimberly (Pat) Conrad of Ponca, Neb. and Jennifer (Loren) Barnes of Orangevale, Calif.  His grandchildren Kamber (Brent) Hogan of Newcastle, Neb., Korene (Seth) Taylor and Kelsey (Omar) Crawford of Ponca, Neb.; and 12 great grandchildren, brother-in-law Lloyd (Lala) Cherington, Palmview Tex.; nieces Tori and Lynette and nephew David and many cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, sister, and brother-in-law Jacqueline (Lynn) Hatcher, sister-in-law Harriet Cherington and nephew, Charles Hatcher.

Honorary pallbearers: great-grandchildren


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

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Clear Lake, IA 50428
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